{twd} Ice Cream! Yum Yum.

Yes, this week Tuesdays with Dorie is “baking” ice cream. And it’s so yum. Burnt Sugar Ice Cream to be exact. Which pretty much is caramel ice cream. So good. I also made David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe HERE) from his new book Ready For Dessert which “they” say are better than the Thomas Kellar Chocolate Chip Cookies. Sorry, Lebovitz. The Kellar cookies are better.

Thanks to Becky of Project Domestication for hosting this week. If you would like the recipe, please visit her blog or buy the book. Fun fun! This ice cream is GOOD. Unfortuately, I have 4 different ice creams in my freezer right now. Since I got rid of my main ice cream eater last year they tend to stick around. Who wants to come over for an ice cream social???


Avocado Ice Cream

You all know that ice cream is my thing and I enjoy trying new flavors and so far I have liked every flavor I’ve made {some more than others}, that is, until now: Avocado Ice Cream from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop–>it tastes like frozen sweetened guacamole {with sour cream, which to me is a guacamole no-no} and I was so disappointed because I really really wanted to love avocado ice cream {and I love love love avocados; I buy 7 for $5 every week at the farmers’ market} but maybe I would like it more paired  with coconut ice cream, Vietnamese-style, as explained recently by Dorie Greenspan {nice, quick post today because of THIS}.

Avocado Ice Cream

Recipe from The Perfect Scoop

Makes: About 1 quart

3 medium ripe Hass avocados (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Big pinch salt

Slice the avocados in half and remove the pits. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, then cut it into chunks.

In a food processor or blender, combine the avocados, sugar, sour cream, heavy cream, lime juice and salt. Puree until smooth and the sugar is dissolved.

Freeze immediately in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

{twd} chipster topped brownies topped with gelato


A brownie topped with a chocolate chip cookie. How more decadent can it get? Add Gianduja Gelato!

This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie, Chipster Topped Brownies, are brownies baked with a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough on top. In my case, instead of chocolate chips, I added the mini peanut butter cups they sell at Trader Joes.

I made the brownies for a Memorial Day BBQ at my brother’s house. For some reason, my timing was off and these came out of the oven just as I should have been getting ready to leave my house.  Ever since I’ve started this baking/cooking thing, I’ve started arriving late to parties. And it’s not just the baking, it’s the rushing around taking pictures of what I baked because it’s my only chance before I give it away.

I dumped the still warm brownies out of the pan and cut it into squares. I don’t know if the slices would have been prettier if I had let the brownies cool, but I’m going with that story. In the end, it doesn’t matter that they weren’t the neatest squares–people gobbled them up.

And, of course, I brought ice cream. This week I made Gianduja Gelato from The Perfect Scoop. It’s a hazelnut-milk chocolate bit of heaven. You can find the recipe HERE. To all my friends with ice cream makers: make this the next time you make ice cream.

Thank you to Beth of Supplicious for picking this recipe as we bake our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. It was a great choice! If you would like the recipe please visit her blog.


{sms} Fresh Cherry Pie with Pistachio Crumble (+ Ice Cream)


I love fresh cherries. When in season, I buy buckets and buckets of them from the farmers’ market.  Per baking lore, sour cherries are the variety used in pies. Unfortunately, in Southern California we only have sweet cherries.

The only time I’ve seen fresh sour cherries was when I picked them myself while on vacation in Upstate New York at Hick’s Orchard. If you’re ever in the Adirondacks near Lake George check them out. When in season, they have sour cherries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, plums, pears, and pumpkins.


The very first pie I baked was a Classic Sour Cherry Pie with Lattice Crust made with those cherries in the above picture. It was the cover recipe on the June 2008 issue of Bon Appetit. It was also the subject of one of my first blog posts.  You can see my pie HERE. If you do have access to fresh sour cherries, make this pie because it was amazing.

I don’t know why it’s better to use sour/tart cherries in baking. Is it because the size (sweet cherries are larger)? Is it because the sweet/tart factor (you can always adjust added sugar)? Is it the liquid (sour cherries are more watery)?  I’ve baked with both and have great results with both.


This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays selection is the Sour Cherry Pie with Pistachio Crumble. Melissa Murphy the author of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book and owner of the  Sweet Melissa Pâtisseries says this recipe is her favorite. And I can see why. The crunch of the pistachios in the crumble topping adds texture to the sweetness of the cherry filling.


Because I wanted to use fresh, locally-grown cherries for my pie I used sweet cherries. I used two types: Rainier and Brooks. I also used my mini-pie plates.


The suggested piecrust was the Flaky Pie Dough. The recipe uses a higher proportion of shortening to achieve flakiness. It actually has more shortening than butter. So the crust was nice and flaky, it didn’t have a lot of taste. I prefer taste over flakiness. It also didn’t have any sugar. In retrospect, I should have added sugar.


I had extra pie filling and pistachio topping so I baked some cherry crumbles in ramekins which I topped with Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry Ice Cream. The recipe for the ice cream comes from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop and is so delicious. The base is steeped with finely chopped toasted almonds and then coarsely chopped toasted almonds are added in the last two minutes of churning.  Chopped candied cherries are folded in when the ice cream is done churning. To up the cherry flavoring in the ice cream, I added natural cherry extract. YUM. If you love almonds and love cherries, you will love this ice cream.


Thank you to Michelle of Flourchild for choosing this recipe as we bake our way through the book. It was a great choice. A definite winner that deserves a full-size bake from me another time. If you want the recipe you can find it on Michelle’s blog or HERE.

{twd} tart failure

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection is the Tartest Lemon Tart and I had TART FAILURE.

Okay, I had a glorious run with baking successes. I should be thankful, but…this is what happens with experiments sometimes. I was due one. And let me clear up one point right now. The failure was in aesthetics, not taste.  I loved the tart lemon curd (uses whole lemon) and I loved the crust. The disaster tasted wonderful and looked horrible.

lemon tart

I decided I was going to make mini-tarts using my mini-muffin pan. I’ve noticed when I bring in desserts to work, people are lazy about cutting their own slice of something. Even if it is the most delicious thing on earth (Tiramisù Cake). People prefer little single serving things they can just grab and sneak  back to their desks.

lemon tart2

The tart shells partially-baked perfectly  and the lemon curd easily came together. I think my mistake may have been I didn’t fill the tarts with enough of the curd. Or maybe I over baked them and most of the filling bubbled and evaporated away.

creme fraiche ice cream2

I ended up with tart shells lined with tart lemon  instead of filled with tart lemon. To  make the metaphorical lemonade out of lemons, I used the tart lemon-lined shells to hold ice cream (of course). Dorie Greenspan suggests pairing the tart with crème fraîche, so I made Crème Fraîche Ice Cream.

The ice cream recipe comes from The Perfect Scoop and David Lebovitz suggests pairing the ice cream with Candied Cherries.  I used fresh cherries I bought at the farmers’ market and made the candied cherries. One of the by-products of making candied cherries is cherry syrup. YUM.

cherries on top

And let me tell you, Tarty Lemon Curd-Lined Shells filled with Crème Fraîche Ice Cream and topped with Candied Fresh Cherries and Fresh Cherry Syrup are absolutely wonderful.

You can find the recipe for Crème Fraîche Ice Cream HERE.

You can find the recipe for Candied Cherries HERE.

Thank you to Babette of Babette Feasts for choosing this week’s selection. It really is delicious–for the recipe vist her blog.

ice cream with cherries